December 31, 2013 at 3:50 am #1847MikeKeymaster
Dozens of dead geese found floating on Keizer lake
Story Updated: Nov 20, 2008 at 6:28 PM PDT
By Jeff Jaeger and KATU Web Staff
KEIZER, Ore. – People living on Staats Lake recently made a disturbing discovery – a flock of geese dead and floating on the water.
The state is trying to solve the mysterious deaths, which raise a number of questions, including the safety of the lake, but the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said their hands are tied while they wait for test results.
“We couldn’t believe what we were seeing because it seemed like every few inches we would come across dead geese,” recalled Joanne, who walked around the lake Friday morning.
“We saw two or three dead geese over on the other side of the lake on Friday. I came back Monday morning and as I walked, I counted 38,” said Cori Glassey.
According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the final count of dead geese Tuesday morning was 67 floating on the lake.
“They couldn’t hold their heads up in the process of dying,” said Marie LeRud, who walked with Glassey Friday morning.
“It’s a concern,” said Assistant District Wildlife Biologist Rick Boatner. “Having that many die since Friday, so that’s relatively quick and they all appear to be healthy birds.”
This isn’t the first time flocks have been found dead at this lake. Boatner said flocks have been found dead at Staats Lake many times. Most recently a flock that was infected with aspergillosios, a fungal infection of the lungs, died on the lake. Boatner attributed the frequency to migratory patterns, not the lake itself.
Right now there is no explanation for this flock’s death.
On a lake surrounded by homes the question now is are those birds that are dying bringing disease with them or is it something in the water? “It just makes you wonder,” said LeRud.
“Should we be worried?” KATU asked Boatner. “At this time I don’t think so,” he said. “We don’t know enough to make that judgment. It doesn’t appear to be anything in the water quality so we’ll just wait and see.”
According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, a half dozen of the dead geese have been sent off to a national lab but they added that die offs like this are not uncommon. “Waterfowl get all kinds of diseases and at anytime in the United States you have a die off somewhere,” said Boatner.
Boatner said it could take up to 10 days for the national lab to determine what killed the geese. He said it could be a fungus, possibly a virus, but until then the public is warned not to come in contact with any dead birds in the area.
For more information on what to do if you find a dead bird, visit the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
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